The long wait is over, and the small human growing inside your womb has arrived! One of the most beautiful things in life is the first time you see your baby and hear their first cry.
All parents want to give their newborns the best care possible to keep them healthy and happy. However, a sudden fever, hours of crying, and stomach problems for no apparent reason can be concerning for any parent.
In a post-COVID world where the effects of the pandemic are still prevalent, there are a few things to consider to keep your newborn safe and healthy.
Here are 10 ways to keep your newborn healthy and free of diseases and illnesses:
1. Check for Warning Signs
The process of childbirth and the first few hours of a newborn’s life is the most critical time for both parents and infants. Any medical malpractice or mishandling by doctors or nursing staff can lead to serious head and spinal cord injuries in infants, which may cause cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, brain damage, periventricular leukomalacia, and other diseases that can cause a lifetime impairment.
If your child has encountered any injury during the childbirth process, it’s important to get a thorough checkup and monitor all vitals. In case of any medical negligence and severe childbirth injuries, you can also file a lawsuit against the healthcare providers and get legal compensation. Visit www.childbirthinjuries.com for detailed information regarding injuries, possible outcomes, causes, symptoms, and legal options.
Check for the following warning signs in a newborn to ensure your child is safe and healthy after birth:
- No bowel movement for more than two days.
- The infant is not latching to breastfeed or bottle.
- Blueish skin
- Problem breathing or breathing rate is too fast
- Retraction or pulling in of the ribs when taking a breath
- The infant is not urinating
- Pale eyes and skin
- Prolonged crying
- Excessive sleeping without the need to nurse
- Blood or pale discharge from the umbilical cord
- Green or yellow vomiting
2. Get Immunizations on Time
Vaccines are important for both you and your baby. Immunizations equip a newborn’s natural immune system with essential antibodies to fight or prevent certain life-threatening diseases like mumps, rubella, hepatitis, measles, pneumonia, and others. In addition, infants usually receive a Hepatitis B vaccination at birth, while the healthcare provider or pediatrician will provide a complete schedule of immunization to be administered during the first five years of the child’s life.
To keep your newborn healthy and safe, it’s important to get all the immunizations on time. Moreover, you must ensure that all the adults and children who will pay a visit are adequately immunized to keep your child safe from viral and bacterial infections.
3. Make Skin-to-Skin Contact
Skin-to-skin contact is not just essential for the quick bonding of a newborn with their parents, but it’s also great for their health. If a baby is born prematurely, skin-to-skin contact regulates their body temperature and respiration rate and prevents them from catching infections. In addition, skin-to-skin contact imitates the womb and provides comfort and reassurance to the baby.
Skin-to-skin contact helps the mother develop a strong attachment with the newborn during nursing. When combined, skin-to-skin contact and nursing can save babies’ lives and help them grow faster.
4. Breastfeed Your Baby
Considering the growing rate of malnourishment and weak immunity in infants across the globe, the World Health Organization strongly emphasizes mothers breastfeed their infants at least up to 6 months of age. Breast milk contains all the essential nutrients a baby needs in the perfect amount. It also keeps your baby healthy and improves its immunity. Breast milk contains a variety of antibodies from the mother and helps your baby develop immunity to a range of diseases. Even when a mother catches the flu or cold, doctors advise them to keep nursing their child.
5. Wash or Wipe Your Breasts Clean before Nursing
If your breasts, particularly your nipples, are not washed regularly, they may become a breeding ground for various bacteria. Therefore, to keep your infant healthy, you should always wash or wipe clean your nipples before and after nursing your baby. Using regular soap and rinsing it with water should suffice. You can also wipe them with a clean damp cloth before nursing.
6. Always Wash Your Hands Before Touching Your Baby
A newborn’s immunity develops with time through immunization and breastfeeding. However, they can catch infections from other people if they have poor hygiene. Even when people don’t display any symptoms of sickness, they may have caught an easily transmittable infection. This is why it is important to habitually sanitize and wash your hands with antibacterial soaps before coming in contact with the baby each time.
7. Make Sure They Stay Hydrated
While you need to keep an eye on your baby’s water levels, it’s recommended not to give them water to drink for at least up to 6 months of age. Babies get enough water content from the milk alone that keeps them hydrated and energetic all day. However, it’s important to make sure they’re hydrated enough. Make sure your baby is taking breast milk or formula according to age.
8. Give them a Tummy Time
Tummy time is important for infants during the first couple of months. It helps them cope with colic, improves their gut health, ad strengthens their head and neck muscles. Give your baby a tummy time every day for at least 5-10 minutes. Always keep an eye on your baby during tummy time and put them to sleep on their back.
9. Make Sure They Burp after Each Feed
Burping is a crucial element of feeding a newborn. Each time a baby nurses, they need to expel the air they take in during nursing. If the newborn doesn’t burp or swallow too much air, they spit up milk, get uncomfortable and gassy or even develop colic. Even if your baby is getting fussy during nursing, it’s necessary to burp your baby before resuming.
To burp a newborn, sit them on your lap, facing away from you. Place your palm flat against their chest while supporting their chin, and lean your baby forward. Rub or gently pat your baby’s back to expel the air out. A baby may take a long time to burp, but you must be patient and keep patting.
10. Play with Your Newborn
Babies need to develop visual and hearing skills for healthy mental and physical growth, and the best way to do this is to play with your baby.
Newborns cannot see colors or watch people from a distance. However, they can easily become familiar with sounds and scents. Studies show that infants can recognize sounds and words in the womb for months after birth. Your infant will learn through interacting with you during the first month of life. Play with your newborn and talk to them more often to help them bond with you and respond to your sound.
The first few months of a child’s life are critical for growth and health. You must ensure timely immunization, good personal hygiene, and some preventive measures to keep your newborn healthy and safe. We hope the above list will help you take good care of your newborn and keep them protected from diseases and other health conditions.